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If you consider the design in general or technological innovation, the 1980s were not a good time for watchmaking.
However, the 1980s was life-changing for Rolex. The brand’s reputation built up slowly and meekly around several stylish and precise tool watches.
With the appearance of the quartz crisis, the brand was compelled to upturn its approach entirely.
But this Swiss-based manufacturer was never the one to set out to throw out the past designs.
However, many Rolex watches from the 1980s are not regarded yet as vintage. Thus, these watches ideally don’t bear similar prestige as the models from the 1960s and 1970s.
Moreover, they also don’t have the modern appeal of the contemporary or the late 1990s models.
Nonetheless, some of these watches from the 1980s are yet more desirable than its counterparts.
Let’s today have a look at four of the unacknowledged Rolex watches of the 1980s era.
The 1970s era wasn’t a time for over-bright and big things. However, a significant statement piece made its place in the 1980s in the form of gold Rolex Day-Date.
However, the solid gold Rolex Day-Date with Presidential bracelet was more cherished by collectors.
The watch featured bark-textured centre links, a Tiger’s Eye dial and bark-textured bezel.
What’s appealing of the reference 18078 is the dial’s simplicity.
The stone dial has only the printed text and applied crown without any indices.
The Rolex Submariner reference 16800 is a little confusing because of its price.
The ref. 16800 is known to be the best “old” Submariner in several aspects.
The watch was ideally the first model to feature the quick-set Calibre 3035 and also, a sapphire crystal.
Moreover, the Submariner 16800 also sported Tritium luminous plots.
Overall, the combination of the retro-elements makes the watch more valuable than the reference 5513 and desirable for regular wear.
The Rolex Datejust Reference 16234 can be considered as an ideal “first Rolex” for novelties.
The Datejust watches from the 1980s are robust and clean with exclusive variants.
For example, this Rolex Datejust 16234 features the exclusive Tapestry silver dial.
However, the watch comes with a 36mm case diameter.
Although it may not feel as firm as the vintage references of Air-King, the 36mm is yet a versatile case size that will ideally sit comfortably on all wrists.
Rolex introduced the GMT-Master II with the “COKE” bezel in 1983.
The GMT-Master Coke watch was not only a great thing to have in the 1980s but also a coveted model yet in the pre-owned market.
However, reference 16760 paved the way for independently adjustable hour hands in the brand’s lineup.
While the watch sported a slightly broader case, it became popularly known as the “Sophia Loren” or the “Fat Lady”.
However, Rolex offered the watch a thicker case to house the upgraded, new Calibre movement.
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